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s-_ i% 

1X35 - 1960 

Prepared for the 125th Anniversary Celebration 
of Marseilles, Illinois 

July 23-31, 1960 

1835 - 1960 

Dedicated to 


Prepared by 

with the assistance of 

Mrs. Thomas Adler, William Cebulski, Richard Doherty, Ray 
Finkle, Florence Fleming, Nathan Fleming, Florence Marsh, Mrs. 
Arthur Massey, Mrs. Thomas McLean, Ida Orsi, Harry Richardson, 
Arthur Simmons, Mrs. Howard B. Smith, Wilbur Smouse, Charles 
Watts, Mrs. Thomas Wernstrum, Robert Yuill. 

Roger Enrico, Cover Design Harold Fewell, Photographs 

Robert Stride, Map of Corporate Limits of Marseilles 

Historical Booklet Committee 

General Publication 

James N. Arnold, Chairman 
Mrs. Bonnie Arnold, Mary V. Carney, Mrs. David Guthrie, 
Vera Naretty, Mrs. Clara Vernoy 


Section Page 

I. Geological Factors That Have Influenced Marseilles ... 1 
II. Indian Tribes of the Marseilles Area 2 

III. The First Settlement 2 

A. William Richey and the Buckhorn Tavern 

B. Ephraim Sprague's Curse on Kimball and His 

C. The Original Townsite 

D. Kimball's Business Enterprises 

IV. Tides of Migration Into the Area 6 

A. Pioneers and Pioneer Young People 

B. The Norwegian Settlement 

C. Mingling of Immigrants From Western Europe 

D. Group Settlement by Kentuckians 

E. Italians as a New Element 

V. Influence of Canal and Railroad on the Young Town . . 9 

A. The Canal and the Railroad 

B. "Old Town" and "West End" Rivalry 

VI. The Churches of Marseilles 12 

A. Friendly Attitude Among Early Churches 

B. St. Andrew's Episcopal Church 

C. The Universalist Church 

D. The Congregational Church 

E. Trinity Lutheran Church 

F. St. Joseph's Catholic Church 

G. The Baptist Church 
H. The Methodist Church 

I. Immanuel Lutheran Church 

J. The Church of God 

K. The Church of the Nazarene 

VII. Schools of Marseilles 21 

A. Early Schools and Teachers 

B. William Brady of the Bluff School 

C. The Marseilles Seminary 

D. School Expansion in Recent Years 

E. Marseilles Public Library 

VIII. The Marseilles Manufacturing Company 28 



CONTENTS (Continued) 

IX. Roderic Clark and the Water Power 32 

A. Marseilles Land and Water Power Company 

B. Bird Bickford and the "New Jerusalem" 

C. Lucius Clark's Promotion of Water Power 

D. John F. Clark and the Paper Industry 

E. Developments by W. D. Boyce and by 
Howe and Davidson 

F. The National Biscuit Company 

X. Other Industries and Enterprises 36 

A. Goodell Model Shop 

B. Newspapers 

C. Banks 

XI. Recreation Then and Now 37 

A. Dancing 

B. Bands 

C. The Roller Skating Rink 

D. Temperance Parades and Rallies 

E. Horses and Runaways 

F. Lovers' Lane 

G. Veterans Groups, Folk Valley, Other Facilities 
H. Community Swimming Pool 

XII. Major Improvements, 1920-1933 43 

A. Marseilles Lock 

B. Government Dam 

C. Illini State Park 

D. Illinois River Bridge 

XIII. The Search For New Industries 44 

XIV. Anniversary Celebrations, Yesterday and Today 45 

XV. Civic Groups 47 

City Government and Officials, 1960 
Marseilles Board of Education 
Social and Service Organizations 

XVI. Business and Professional Directory, 1960 49 







Our study of the world about us so far has given us only a 
dim and incomplete picture of conditions that may have existed 
in the remote past. Here in Marseilles, however, we have some 
of the most striking evidence to be found anywhere, in regard 
to the effects produced by vast swinging cycles of change in the 
temperature of the earth's surface, from extreme cold to tropical 

The fascinating story of these rhythms of change, called the 
Glacial and Inter-Glacial Periods, is best told in bulletins which 
may be obtained from the Illinois State Geological Survey in 
Springfield. It will serve our purpose here if we refer only to 
the geological features that were of special importance to the 
early settlers. 

The outcropping of rock in the bed of the river, from a point 
just east of the present river bridge for nearly three miles west- 
ward, was close to the surface in some places. The slope in the 
river bed through this rock made it possible to develop water 
power here, but also made it necessary to construct locks to raise 
or lower boats from one water level to the other. 

The soil in the river bottoms and on prairies back from the 
river was black and fertile, but so level that nearly half the area 
of La Salle County was covered with sloughs. The spongy nature 
of the soil held back natural drainage, and the use of shallow 
wells for drinking water led to many cases of typhoid fever. 

There were a few springs where water heavily charged with 
sulphur bubbled out. Doctors urged their patients to use this 
water, in spite of its taste and smell of sulphur. They pointed 
out the interesting fact that horses preferred it to any surface 

The Marseilles Moraine is the name given to one of many 
ridges of sand, gravel and clay that were left as the ice of the 
glacial period melted. On the moraine near us are Riverview 
Cemetery, the area of Folk Valley, the Spicer Gravel Pit and the 
ridges of Brookfield Township across the river. Clay, sand and 
gravel for construction purposes have been taken from this ridge 
for generations. 

The presence of coal deposits in the area was another geo- 
logical factor of importance in the early days. The coal lay under- 
ground in shallow "ponds" or pools close to the surface, or along 
the ravines that open into the river valley. The canal and the 
railroad depended on shipments of coal for much of their rev- 
enue. The best deposit, and the last to be worked, was mined in 
the bluff on the south side of the river. It supplied coal to paper 
mills, and employed a hundred miners at one time. 



It is impossible to speak with certainty of any particular 
Indian tribes as holding possession of the area in and around 
Marseilles for any length of time. The entire Illinois Valley was 
looked upon by many tribes of Indians as being specially desir- 
able as a homeland, because of the abundance of game in the 
wooded areas. 

Branches of the great Algonquin tribe, pushing westward 
from the St. Lawrence Valley, were represented at various times 
on the north bank of the Illinois river by the Ottawa, Kickapoo, 
Winnebago, Pottawatomi, Sac and Fox sub-tribes. By the early 
years of the 1800's only scant remnants of these tribes had 
villages in the general area of La Salle County. The Illini had 
long since disappeared. 

These Indians were probably a discouraged and sorry-looking 
lot by the time the white settlers came. They had been tricked 
into making treaties that they did not understand, and had been 
pushed westward into lands where they were challenged by the 
tribes already there. Those who lived along the Illinois River 
raised a little corn in patches of land near the edge of the timber, 
and traded for guns, powder, salt and cloth, offering in payment 
the skins of deer and beaver. In the early autumn they sometimes 
crossed the Mississippi to hunt buffalo in Iowa, returning to 
spend the winter in the protection of the timber of the Illinois 

They were shamefully treated by many white settlers and by 
military officials. Their last hopeless gesture of resentment, the 
Black Hawk War of 1832, had much justification. The volunteer 
forces that crushed them committed acts of brutality toward 
men, women and children as inexcusable as the Indian massacre 
of the whites. 



William Richey and his fourteen-year-old son came into the 
Marseilles area in 1829 to set up a base for trade with the 
Indians, as well as to farm. They stayed for a time with James 
Galloway, on his claim south of the river. When Mrs. Galloway 
died, Richey and his son cut down a walnut tree, hewed out 
boards, and made the coffin for her burial in a plot on the top of 
the hill, still called the Galloway Cemetery. 

Richey sold his claim to Abraham Trumbo, crossed the river, 
and in the winter of 1831 built a cabin of hewn or "squared" 
logs beside the bank of a creek between bluffs that gave a little 

shelter from winter winds. A spring flowed from the hillside 
nearby. The cabin was larger than many pioneer homes, and 
had a low attic that was sometimes used for sleeping quarters, 
sometimes for storage of supplies for the Indian trade. 

This cabin, the first home built in Marseilles, still stands on 
the original site, the west bank of the creek at the head of the 
Morris Road and La Salle Street in east Marseilles. The walls 
were later covered with clapboards and the puncheons of the 
roof were replaced by shingles. 


Norton Gumm and his family, who had come from Virginia, 
took up a claim across the road. Mr. Gumm and Mrs. Richey 
both died within a few years. The two families of growing boys 
were united when Mrs. Gumm and William Richey were married. 

Stagecoaches and wagons passed in great numbers along the 
Morris Road. The Richey cabin soon became a stagecoach tavern, 
easily recognized by antlers of deer that were mounted at each 
end of the ridgepole, and widely known as the "Buckhorn Tav- 
ern". Mrs. Richey continued to operate it after her husband's 

Steven Mackey Gumm, eldest son of Norton, returned to the 
cabin across the road that his father had left, and on the east 
bank of the stream put up a wagon shop. For more than thirty 
years he continued to turn out hundreds of wagons, famous for 
their sturdiness in the heavy freight hauling of those days. He 


liked to work with the fine black walnut abundant in the woods 
nearby, and pieces of furniture made by him are still treasured 
in several homes in this area. 

Two of Norton Gumm's great grandchildren, Harry Gumm 
and Mrs. Anna Mae Gumm Miller, now live on the original claim. 
The home of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Haslam now stands on the site 
of the wagon shop. 


Ephraim Sprague was the first man to set up a water wheel 
at the head of the Marseilles rapids, and he soon had a sawmill in 
operation. It was his misfortune that Lovell Kimball, arriving 
in 1833, saw a chance to seize control of the water power. Learn- 
ing that Sprague did not yet have legal title to his water frontage, 
Kimball established overlapping claims, and put up a dam that 
turned the water away from Sprague's shallow mill race. 

Boasting of the mills and workshops he intended to put up, 
he refused to lease any of the power he controlled, and Sprague 
had to close his prosperous little sawmill. 

In bitter rage, he stood on the river bank and with upraised 
hands, prayed that fire should burn and flood should wash away 
everything in Marseilles, as long as the memory of Kimball 
should last, 

The Nathan Fleming of our time, descendant of pioneers and 
genial commentator on past and present, has observed, "Evi- 
dently the petition was heard and contents noted, for since that 
time, mills have burned at the drop of a match, and dams and 
bridges have been destroyed by flood in uncommon numbers". 

But Lovell Kimball paid no heed to the curse, and pushed on 
to make his dream a reality. 


A surveyor laid out a townsite along the north bank of the 
river, just above the rapids, and Kimball had the plat recorded 
on June 3, 1835. The original plat, later pasted on thin cloth 
to preserve it, is still on file in the La Salle County Courthouse. 

Kimball chose the name Marseilles for his town, under the 
impression that the French city of that name was an industrial 
center of the type that he hoped to develop. 

The townsite covered the area bordered on the west by Main 
Street, on the north by Washington, on the east by Liberty and 
on the south by River Street. Streets 100 ft. wide ran through 
the center, from east to west, and from north to south. Their 
intersection was extended to form a Public Square 300 ft. on 
each side. We now call that square City Park. 

Some of the street names chosen by Kimball were too fanci- 
ful to suit the pioneers and were soon dropped. When the next 
survey of the town was made in 1865, names like Washington, 

Street names now used — Main (Milwaukee), Minden, Aurora, Grant, 
Peoria, Pearl, Liberty, Washington (Mohegan), Lincoln, Tolin (cut away by 
canal), Broadway, Illinois, Wallace, River. 

Lincoln, Grant, Pearl, Liberty and River displaced names much 
longer and more difficult to spell. 

No one had any thought that the canal and the railroad would 
soon cut across the townsite in broad bands, and that its south- 
west corner would be cut away when the millrace was widened. 


Kimball set up a ferry across the river and a sawmill to 
furnish lumber for later use. He then left on a trip through 
Pennsylvania and upper New York, talking wherever he went 
with business men who had money to invest. He must have been 
forceful and persuasive, for he returned from the East with a 
considerable amount of working capital and promise of credit. 
Some of the prospective investors came with him, and others 

Setting up the Marseilles Manufacturing Company, a name 
designed to cover anything he might be able to develop, he built 
the largest flour mill in the Mississippi Valley, with woodwork 
of fine black walnut. He learned that former President Martin 
Van Buren and a party of friends were making a leisurely tour 
through Illinois. Old letters indicate that Kimball saw the chance 
for more publicity for his town, and arranged to have the tourists 
pause briefly for a "fish frolic" on the bank of the river. It is 
said that more than a thousand people from the surrounding 
area came to see the distinguished guests. Kimball developed a 
stagecoach line, began preparations for a woolen mill, and bought 
up land in a wide area around the town. 

He was heavily in debt but still hopeful, when his flour mill 
and sawmill were destroyed by fire. His insurance claims were 
evaded by some trick, and his creditors took everything that he 
had. He died in the cholera epidemic of 1848, and was buried in 
the small cemetery on the bluff above Pearl Street. 

When the city held a great centennial celebration in 1935, 
Kimball's grave and its shattered tombstone were located and a 
marker was placed to honor him as the founder of the city. 



Old American pioneer stock predominated in the successive 
waves of settlers that soon filled the farm lands around the town 
or came to work at various trades. 

From the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia came the Parrs, 
Trumbos, Millikens, Groves, Gumms, Conards and Brumbacks. 
From Pennsylvania came the Longs, Nichols, Armstrongs, Gallo- 
ways, Richeys and Flemings. 

They were joined in a few years by the Spencer and Peddi- 
cord families from Ohio, Isaac Gage from New Hampshire, and 
Ephraim Shaver from West Virginia. From New York came the 
Loring, Stebbins and Butterfield families, as well as Nelson 
Rhines, Dolphus Clark, and E. H. Spicer. The Reverend George 
Marsh and Luther P. Osgood were from Massachusetts, and 
William Gentleman from Vermont. 

George Armstrong was nineteen years of age when he came 
in 1832 with his widowed mother and five young brothers from 
Ohio to Illinois. He was evidently a level-headed youth who 
looked trouble squarely in the eye. He and his mother chose a 
tract of land in Brookfield Township. Except for the Trumbo 
cabin in Fall River Township, there was no neighbor nearer than 
Ottawa. When the Armstrong family were warned of the mas- 
sacre of settlers on Indian Creek, an old county history tells us 


that "George got the horses, cattle and wagons together, sent his 
mother and younger brothers off with their effects to Lacon, 
after which he finished sowing his wheat, hid his tools, ran some 
bullets, locked up the house, shouldered his gun, and went off to 

George came safely home from the Indian fighting, settled 
down to face life with the same sturdy efficiency, and died at the 
age of ninety. 

Another young pioneer, apparently a member of one of the 
Stebbins families, took over family responsibilities when his 
father became ill, and drove a four-horse team all the way from 
Ohio. He was not quite thirteen years old. 

When the Fleming family joined their neighbors for the trip 
to Illinois, Nathan, the oldest son, remained at his job in a small 
factory in Pennsylvania. Though only nineteen years of age, he 
was manager of the plant, at a wage of $7.00 a month. The 
father died of pneumonia soon after arriving in Illinois, but news 
of his death did not reach the son till midwinter. Knowing that 
his mother and the younger children would be in desperate need 
of his help, he walked every step of the way, through winter 
snows and blizzards, a distance of more than five hundred miles, 
to join them in Illinois. On the way he became a victim of snow 
blindness and had to spend five days in a dark room with band- 
aged eyes. 


The first permanent settlement of Norwegians in America 
was made in 1834 north of Marseilles in Miller Township, under 
the direction of Kleng Pierson. (The spelling of his name varies 
greatly in old records.) 

Sailors of Norway had learned that life could be easier in the 
New World than under the harsh conditions of that period at 
home. Pierson volunteered to travel through the eastern states 
of America, looking for a location in which his discontented 
neighbors in Stavanger might make a new life. He spent three 
years in the search, supporting himself by carpentry and farm 

He and his friend, Lars Larson, organized a group of fifty- 
two colonists in 1824, and bought a small sailing vessel of the 
type known as a sloop. Fifty-two hopeful and courageous souls 
crowded on board for the rough voyage to America. One child 
was born during the trip. 

In the traditions of Norwegians, both in Norway and in 
America, this little sloop holds equal rank with the Mayflower. 
Her passengers, referred to as the "sloopers", are held in admir- 
ing veneration equal to that of the Mayflower descendants for 
their ancestors. 

The little sloop was seized by harbor authorities in New 
York, on questionable legal grounds, and sold to pay the fines 
levied. The Quakers came to the rescue of the disheartened voy- 
agers, and helped them to settle on farms in New York. As 
friends joined them, more land was needed. 

It is said that Kleng Pierson, on a journey through La Salle 
County, lay down to rest on a prairie where the village of Norway 
now stands. He had a vivid dream of bountiful farms that would 
someday fill the empty scene. Part of the colony in New York 
accompanied him to the north prairie in 1834, and with relatives 
from their native land, gradually built up one of the best farming 
communities in the state. 

In a centennial celebration in 1934, a boulder bearing a 
bronze plate was dedicated to the memory of Kleng Pierson at 
the site of his dream in the village of Norway. A beautiful statue 
has been erected in Stavanger, Norway, in memory of the 

Skilled workers from the settlement found ready employment 
in the growing village of Marseilles. The young people of the two 
communities had no difficulty in getting acquainted. Anna Maria 
Thompson, a young girl who had come over on the sloop, married 
the son of William Richey. 


Laborers from Ireland, recruited for work on the Illinois and 
Michigan Canal, were paid in land scrip and took up farms on 
the south prairie. Others remained as railroad workers, coal 
miners or blacksmiths. Germans who came later kept their 
language and traditions alive in close-knit farm communities, 
but German names like Trager, Schultz and Madaus soon ap- 
peared on Main Street. 

Swedish settlers found employment mainly in the building 
trades. A few with superior education and business experience, 
such as John Lord, quickly developed their own enterprises. 
Visitors sometimes said of him that he had the look and manner 
of an English aristocrat. The Messenie, Vacheront, Leger and 
Tisler families came direct from France. The Monnetts, Morells 
and LeRettes were French Canadians. 

The first settlers who came from England and Scotland had 
a little more capital and more business experience than most of 
the native-born in early Marseilles, and such names as Bruce, 
Scott, Harrington, Samuels, Hurd and Hughes appear frequently 
on business records. 

The Moore brothers, Abel, Arthur and Joshua, all skilled 
mechanics, were recruited for special work, and the Haslam, 
Partridge, Price, Coates and Shelton families probably came at 
the suggestion of Richard Hughes. One of the few Welsh in the 
area was Enoch Lettsome. 



In the early 1900's settlement by groups was renewed here, 
when George Washington Tungate of Kentucky came to Mar- 
seilles in 1902. Finding an active demand for labor at good 
wages on the dam and millrace then under reconstruction, he 
sent for relatives and friends, among them the Bass, Mills, 
Mason, Caffey and Gabehart families. Most of them were from 
Campbellsville in eastern Kentucky, an area populated almost 
entirely by descendants of the English, Scotch and Scotch-Irish 
mountaineers of colonial days and of Daniel Boone's time. Their 
previous experience had been mainly in farming and lumbering 
but they fitted quickly into factory routine and remained in the 
community when work on the dam was finished. No other groups 
in the community keep in such close touch with their former 
homes, or make such frequent visits to them. 


Families of Italian birth became a new element in the popula- 
tion about the same time as the Kentuckians. First was Umberto 
Marzuki, who came in 1904, followed soon by Victor Orsi and 
his daughters, the Bioletti, Verona, Buffo, and Tonielli families, 
and the Morello brothers, Quinto and Charles. 

All of them had worked previously in other parts of the Mid- 
west and many brought special skills that found prompt demand 
in the town. Others took rough work in the coal mines and dam 
construction, until they could find or make a place for themselves 
in work they preferred. 

Many of the second and third generation residents of Italian 
origin, with better opportunities for education than their parents 
had, are now in professional positions in law, medicine, music, 
teaching, nursing, journalism and other special fields, in many 
cities of the country. 




The idea of creating an all-water route between the Great 
Lakes and the Mississippi Valley seemed to make a strong appeal 
to the imagination of the people, and there was great interest in 
plans made in the early 1830's to cut a canal 100 miles in length 
from Chicago to La Salle, the headwaters of steamboat naviga- 
tion on the Illinois River. In its time, the Illinois and Michigan 
Canal was regarded as the world's greatest engineering feat. 

Congress gave the state a belt of land along the proposed 
route, and it was expected that the sale of this land would bring 
in sufficient funds to meet the costs of construction. 

Work was begun at both ends of the line in 1836, but a frenzy 
of speculation in land values pushed prices so high that there 
were few sales. Work on the canal was halted, hard times for 
merchants and farmers resulted, and suffering was widespread. 

When conditions finally improved, work began again. Con- 
tractors employed farmers and their teams for local hauling, 
but most of the excavating was pick and shovel work. Agents 
for the contractors met ships arriving at New York and Cana- 
dian ports, and induced Irish immigrants to join work crews 
along the canal. 

Some of the contractors grew wealthy through unscrupulous 
cheating of the Irish laborers, who had no choice but to submit. 
There is a tradition in the neighborhood around the Folk Valley 
Cabin, east of Marseilles, that a stagecoach bringing gold coins 
from Chicago to pay canal workers was held up and robbed on 
a roadway near the present cabin. Farmers near by pursued 
and captured two of the robbers, but the man who carried the 
money got away. No one seemed to know whether the workers 
were finally paid, or had to stand the loss. In similar incidents 
elsewhere, it was suspected that the contractor had been in con- 
nivance with the bandits. 

The canal was completed in 1848, the stretch between Mar- 
seilles and Morris being the last to be excavated. The enduring 
quality of the stonework of that period may be seen in the old 
locks in Marseilles, near Chicago and Pearl Streets. 

At once, long narrow barges began to carry great loads of 
lumber, coal and grain to Chicago or La Salle, where the freight 
was transferred to lake vessels or river steamboats. It was said 
that as many as a hundred river steamboats at a time might be 
tied up in the basin near Peru, awaiting shipments on the canal. 

The Eureka Company, organized by Dr. Daniel Ward and 
Richard Hughes, mined coal in Gumm's Ravine and laid a nar- 
row-gauge railroad line that took the coal in small cars across 
the grounds of the present Lincoln School and over to the bank 
of the canal. Grain elevators were built on the canal bank at 
Chicago Street and Main Street. 

Passenger barges and packet boats, with upper and lower 
decks, could carry as many as ninety passengers, and their sleep- 
ing quarters and dining halls were furnished and carpeted with 
a luxury that could not be matched anywhere else on the fron- 
tier. Teams of horses or mules moved along the towpath be- 
side the canal, and pulled the vessels at a pace of four or five 
miles an hour. 


The trip between La Salle and Chicago was sometimes made 
in twenty-four hours. The charge, which included sleeping 
quarters and three meals, was four dollars. Excursions on the 
canal boats were popular social events. 

The canal, with its cheap freight rates, was an immense 
stimulus to business. In Marseilles, as in many other small 
towns, grain dealers, lumber dealers and operators of canal 
boat lines became the most prosperous and influential citizens. 

But almost at once a rival form of transportation, the rail- 
road, began to claim both freight and passenger service from 
the canal. The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad reached 
Marseilles in 1853 and was extended to Rock Island the next 
year. The canal soon lost all of its passenger service and most 
of its freight traffic, but continued to operate profitably for about 
twenty-five years because of the low rates it offered for lumber, 
coal, grain and other bulky freight. 

The state ended its maintenance of the locks and towpaths 
several years ago. The right of way is still owned by the state, 
but no one seems to know what to do with it. The water has 
drained out, except for stagnant pools here and there, filled with 
weeds, muskrats and mosquitoes. 


Business turned its back on Lovell Kimball's neat Public 
Square, but was booming along Chicago Street, from Lincoln 
north to the bluff. Wooden structures housed harness shops, 
blacksmith shops, groceries, and bakeries. Boarding houses for 
canal and railroad workers competed with them for space. Trav- 
elers as well as local citizens were impressed by the "Brick Block" 
on the east side of Chicago Street. It was built in 1868, of brick 
made by the Coff een family south of the river. The new railroad 
built a depot, or station, south of the tracks. 

When land near by was needed for freight houses a few years 
later, the owner, Dr. Daniel Ward, agreed to give the tract, but 
only on condition that life-time passes on the Rock Island lines 
should be given to him and his family. Then, on second thought, 
he demanded that the passes should cover connecting railroad 
lines as well. The Rock Island officials angrily refused. 

A newcomer to the town, Roderic Clark, saw a golden opportu- 
nity. He had bought almost all the land west of Main Street and 
along the railroad tracks east of Main, but business in the sale of 
town lots was lagging. He offered to give fifteen acres for a new 
depot site near Main Street. The railroad officials accepted with 
pleasure, and after building a station where the Rock Island 
freight house now stands, named Clark their station agent. 

Town lots east and west of Main Street now sold readily, and 
the area was spoken of as Clarktown. The "Clarktowners", 
proud of the business center they were developing near the depot, 


demanded that the post office be located there. It was still housed 
in a small wooden building near the vacant railroad station in 
the "Old Town". 

One winter night in 1868 a crowd of men and boys placed 
skids under the little structure and hauled it toward the west 
end of town. At Pearl Street they removed a section of fencing 
and drew the post office into Scott's pasture. This was a low 
swampy tract between Bluff and Washington Streets, extending 
almost to Main. Perhaps they intended to slide the building 
along on the ice but the plan did not work. For the rest of the 
winter, anyone who wished to pick up his mail had to climb 
over the pasture fence. 

In the spring the post office was moved to the corner of 
Washington and Roath Streets, and a few years later to the depot 
grounds near Main Street. When other space was rented for the 
post office, the building, moved from corner to corner on Wash- 
ington Street, was a source of embarrassment to the Old Towners 
till it was destroyed by fire years later. 

The feud between the two sections of the town continued for 
a generation, with frequent fist fights between gangs of boys who 
dared each other to cross the neutral ground of Pearl Street. 
Their elders exchanged taunts, not always in the spirit of good 
nature, and defeated moves to combine the schools in opposite 
ends of the town into one system. 



Down through the years, the religious congregations of 
Marseilles seemed to get along in a spirit of co-operation and 
helpfulness. Congregations that were not yet able to build their 
own churches were invited to meet in those of other denomina- 
tions, with schedules of Sunday hours carefully arranged. 

In the late 1860's several church groups began construction 
in a glow of pioneer optimism but on very shaky credit. A church 
might flourish briefly, but soon a mill burned, or hard times 
forced workers to find jobs elsewhere. The lumber dealer or 
businessman who had advanced credit, Isaac Gage or W. W. 
Richey, was left "holding the bag", till return of better times 
encouraged another congregation to rent or buy the building. 

Two churches of the town, each nearly a hundred years old, 
have furnished spiritual home to four or five denominations in 

They were built at a time when thunderings from the pulpit 
dealt more often with the wrath and vengeance of God than with 
His loving kindness. Each denomination was sincerely convinced 


that it alone was following the true path to salvation. It would 
be interesting to know what steps the successive congregations 
took, each in its turn, to drive out any wraiths of false doctrine 
that might still be lurking among the rafters. 


In 1862, the Catholic church in Ottawa organized the Mar- 
seilles area as a mission parish. Later it was attached to parishes 
in Morris and Seneca, but continued as a mission parish till 1906. 
Priests came from their home churches on Sunday to conduct 
services in private homes at first, or in a hall rented in the "Brick 
Block" on Chicago Street. 

In 1881 the former Episcopal church was bought and used 
until a larger church was built on Pine Street in 1902, just west 
of the Methodist Church. This building was moved in 1906 to 
the corner of East Bluff and State Streets, the house next door 
become the rectory, and St. Joseph's Parish received its first 
resident pastor, Father Lawrence E. Hackett. 


When more space was needed, the church was enlarged by 
splitting it down the middle and adding a section. The church 
was destroyed by fire in 1943 but because of wartime conditions 
it was not possible to rebuild. The basement was roofed over, 
and services conducted in it for several years. A second fire 
during this period destroyed much equipment and added to the 
discomforts of the damp basement. 

A long-delayed building project was finally undertaken, on 
a new site at Broadway and Minden Streets. The style of archi- 


tecture chosen, a modified Gothic form, is specially well suited 
to the surroundings, and the beautiful church and parish hall, 
completed in 1951, are appreciated as assets to the town. 

The present pastor is Father John T. Loughlin. 


Mission services for the Methodists were begun in 1868 by 
the ministers of the Ottawa church, with meetings in Clark's 
Hall on Main Street, and later in the churches mentioned earlier 
in this chapter. 

In the early 1880's, the Rev. Thomas Chipperfield and his 
wife shared ministerial duties in a way that must have been 
unusual in those days. He conducted Sunday evening services, 
but while he rode through the countryside on a circuit of small 
rural missions, Mrs. Chipperfield had full charge of the morning 

The congregation carefully refrained from speaking of her 
addresses as sermons, but all agreed they were unusually inspir- 
ing and interesting talks. 

The present church site on Aberdeen Street was acquired by 
gift, but a great deal of draining and filling had to be done before 
their new church, a frame structure, was completed in 1892. 


When the East End School was destroyed by fire in 1897, the 
Methodist Church provided a meeting place for the classes for 
several months. The Congregationalists attended services with 
the Methodists while their own church was being built in 1913. 

There was general satisfaction in the town when the new 
Methodist Church was built last year in one of the traditional 


styles commonly termed "colonial". In spite of modern trends 
in architecture, many people assert firmly that they "like a 
church that looks like a church". Both of the newest churches 
of the town meet this preference, each in its own way. The 
graceful white tower and belfry which are included in the plans 
for the Methodist Church will be erected at some time in the 

The Rev. Arthur J. Landwehr is the present minister. 


The Congregationalists first organized in 1860. They too 
drew upon the New England and New York state settlers for 
members, for they trace their spiritual descent from the Pilgrims. 
In 1867 they built a white frame church on East Bluff and Rose 
Streets, and a few years later added a bell of beautiful tone 


that weighed more than a thousand pounds. In 1913 the frame 
building was replaced by the brick church now in use. The min- 
ister at present is the Rev. Howard J. Preston. 

Adoniram J. Thurber was a staunch pillar of the church 
through a long lifetime. He kept a stern eye on finances and also 
on the theological views of all, including the ministers. 

The Rev. Albert Ethridge, pastor for more than sixteen years, 
was an outstanding citizen of the town. During his first min- 
istry, in the village of Lowell, he gave effective help in the 
"underground railroad" for escaped slaves. For a few years he 
was an editor for the Harper Brothers publishing house. 


Chimes were installed in the tower as a memorial to Grace 
Howland. Their pleasant tones ring out frequently, in familiar 
hymn melodies played by the organist, Mrs. Sam Kidd, or by 
Miss Mary Anne Baudino. 


When the Rev. David Pritchard called the Baptists of the 
town together to form a church, he had to settle a difference of 
opinion as to whether it should be located near Chicago Street 
or Main Street. The location on East Bluff near Pearl Street 
was a compromise. 

The spirit of compromise and good will must have prevailed 
in other church affairs. Church and congregation have remained 
together for nearly a hundred years. The church, built in 1866, 


has been in continuous use longer than any other in town. 
Though improved and enlarged in many ways, with the addition 
of a large education and office wing, it retains many features of 
the original structure. 

Daniel Hurd and Simon T. Osgood were deacons of the 
church for many years, active in temperance work and young 
people's organizations. As they grew older they became "a bit 
set in their ways", and it was quite an achievement for a minister 
to persuade them to agree with the congregation or with each 

The coming of the Rev. S. G. Anderson, in the early 1900's, 
created much interest in the town. He had seven daughters, in 


high school or college or in professional work, all unusually en- 
dowed with beauty, charm and fine musical ability. 

Old letters seem to indicate that baptismal ceremonies were 
held at first in the Illinois River, even in winter months. A 
baptismal pool was later installed in the church. It has been 
made available to other churches when requested. 

The present minister is Dr. William Short. 


St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, built on East Bluff Street in 
1868, has had a more varied career than any other in the town. 
It seems to have been originally a beautiful little church of 
classic simplicity. The first rector, the Rev. E. DeWolf, designed 
the church and did most of the carpentry. The rector who fol- 
lowed him, a graduate of Dublin University, was greatly admired 
by the town because he could speak several languages, and use 
Latin as easily as English. 

The little church flourished for a few years, then closed, when 
a mill that employed most of the members transferred them to 
another state. Isaac Gage, whose bills for lumber were long 
overdue, took title to the building and rented it to the Methodists 
for a few years. When they moved to a larger church, the small 
church was bought by the Catholics, who later sold it to the 
Scandinavian Lutherans. 


The Universalists organized the first church in Marseilles 
in 1859, with members mainly from New England and New York 
State. The minister, J. M. Day, added to his small salary by 
conducting a private school and by serving as deputy county 
superintendent of schools. The first church, built near the creek 
in the east end of town, was later moved to the north side of 
Bluff Street near Pine, and enlarged. A new church, built on the 
same site in 1902, was dedicated as the "Church of the Good 
Shepherd". A large stained-glass window, a memorial to Mr. 
and Mrs. J. M. Day, was a gift from their son, then vice-president 
of Marshall Field's in Chicago. 

Mrs. Elfreda Newport, who was minister of the Universalists 
for three years, has been the only woman regularly appointed to 
a charge in the town. 

As the years passed, and families of the early settlers moved 
away, the membership of the church decreased. During the de- 
pression years the remaining members united with other con- 
gregations, and the building was sold to the Church of the 



The Trinity Lutheran Church has had a history almost as 
varied as that of the Episcopal Church. The building was put 
up about 1866 by a congregation that disbanded almost as soon 
as the building was completed. W. W. Richey took title to it 
and rented it for various purposes till the Methodists took it over 
in 1878, a period of hard times, at a rental of seventy-five cents 
a week. 

Soon they were able to buy it, and they invited the German 
Lutherans to share the space with them. No doubt the arrange- 
ment called for strict division of hours and space, but the two 
groups got on very well for several years. 

When the Methodists moved into their new home in 1892, the 
Lutherans bought the old building. Extensive alterations and 


improvements have been made, but it is basically the same sturdy 
church that was erected nearly a century ago. 

Religious services to the German immigrants had been pro- 
vided as early as 1862, by the Lutheran pastors in Ottawa. 

These early pastors must have been as stalwart and vigorous 
as their pictures indicate, for some of them regularly made the 
trips between Ottawa and Marseilles on foot. 

Services at first were held in German only, but were gradually 
shifted to English, as young people grew up who could under- 
stand very little of the German service. English is now used 
exclusively. The present minister is the Rev. Henry J. Behrens. 



The Church of the Nazarene was formed in Texas from many 
small groups, differing in name but united in dissent from the 
doctrines of the older churches. Their first missionary in this 
area, the Rev. Walter Stogdill, continued to support his family 
by outside work until the congregation was established in 1931. 
Families from eastern Kentucky first responded to his efforts, 
but others soon joined them. With help from the Missionary 
Board of the denomination, they were able to rent and later to 
buy the former Universalist "Church of the Good Shepherd". 
It has since been greatly altered and extended. 

The intense interest of the church in missionary work has 
led to the establishment of several colleges and training schools. 
Help from scholarship funds is available when needed by young 
people of the local church who wish to attend these schools. 

The Rev. Cainan Dale is the present pastor. 



Immanuel Lutheran Church is the outgrowth of missionary 
efforts of the Rev. Jacob Jacobson, who came in 1892 to give 
religious care to the Norwegians of the area. He worked as a 
carpenter to support his family, since the mission board of his 
church could give him only a little help. He soon extended his 
work to the Swedish settlers in the town, and the congregation 
was known as the Scandinavian Lutheran. 

It met for several years in the Congregational, Methodist 
and German Lutheran Churches in turn, at such hours as could 
be arranged. It finally acquired a home of its own in the former 
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, and the name Immanuel Lu- 
theran Church was chosen. 


For several years Mr. Jacobson visited rural missions on 
a regular schedule, sometimes driving thirty miles or more each 
Sunday. It is specially regrettable that his many useful activities 
were cut short by paralysis, and he was an invalid for several 
years before his death. 

The Norwegian language was gradually replaced by English 
in the services, and now only English is used. 

The Rev. Elmer Johnson is the pastor at this time. 


The two religious congregations most recently established 
here are those of the Church of God and the Church of the 
Nazarene. Both are religious groups which grew in the 1890's 
and early 1900's, under leaders who were in disagreement with 
the traditional church on several points. 

It was a time when the nation was forced to think along new 
lines, and to question whether its old positions had been morally 
justified. Problems of social justice and international relations 


were crowding upon us, and new scientific discoveries disturbed 
old ways of thinking, in religion as well as in other fields. 

Those who considered themselves progressive were scornful 
of the conservatives, and there were many foolish words spoken 
on both sides, in clashes that could have been and should have 
been avoided. 

Here and there, men of strong convictions and persuasive 
powers set forth the doctrines that seemed to them fundamental 
in the early Christian faith, and called on the world to return to 


these principles. Each drew men and women of like mind, and 
soon many new sects and churches were organized, drawing 
followers from the older churches. Some of these sects have 
dwindled and disappeared. Others, growing with amazing rapid- 
ity, have spread throughout the nation and the world, through 
their emphasis on missionary zeal. 

The Church of God, as represented in Marseilles, grew out of 
prayer meetings, organized by the earnest efforts of Annie White, 
Lucy Williams and Mrs. Emmet Wise, held in homes or in a tent, 
as weather permitted. A little later they were held in the same 
vacant storerooms in the old Brick Block on Chicago Street that 
other churches had used long before. The Baptist Church invited 
the new congregation to use its baptismal pool whenever needed. 

Construction of a small church building was completed in 
1931, at the corner of East Bluff and Indiana Streets, on a site 
donated by two members. It has since been enlarged and im- 
proved in many ways, almost always with donated labor and 
funds in hand before the work began. A house was bought for 
the parsonage, and lots for parking space beside the church 
have been acquired. 

Richard Mitschelen and his wife, Ruth, both ordained min- 
isters, are now in charge of the work of the Church of God. 



The first schoolhouse in Marseilles was a log cabin in the east 
end of the original townsite, but when the route of the canal 
was laid out, a new location was chosen near Washington and 
La Salle Streets. It was a frame building, first of one room, later 
of four, and was paid for by subscription among the parents. 
E. H. Spicer taught all the children of the town in one room for 
several winters in the 1850's, doubtless with a watchful eye on 
business affairs in which he was a partner. 

When state laws permitted the use of public taxes for school 
purposes, a larger frame building was put up in 1865 on the 
present site of the Lincoln School. 

The principal of the school, always a man in the early days, 
was respectfully titled "Professor". W. W. Johnson and William 
H. Outman both had long periods of service in the 70's and 80's. 
During Mr. Outman's time the pupils of the East End School, as 
it was called, won state-wide honors on an exhibit at a fair in 



Usually, however, the honors in competition went to the Bluff 
School, in the west end of the town. The principal there was 
William Brady, a man of outstanding ability as a teacher and 
with strange quirks of personality. 

During the 1850's the few children living west of Main Street 
attended school in a log cabin on Clark Street. Roderic Clark 
gave the school trustees a lot in the ravine where the American 
Legion Hall now stands. In 1865 a two-room school was built, 
and for many years it was affectionately referred to by its former 
pupils as "the little brown school in the hollow". 

It was soon outgrown and in 1866 Clark gave other lots on 
the West Bluff, where a brick building was built. William Brady 
came to the Bluff School as principal in 1868. He was then about 
thirty-five years old. It was evident that he had had an education 


and background well above that of any teacher previously known 
here, but he said nothing about his former life. By the accounts 
of his pupils in later years, he must have had exceptional ability 
to stimulate their eagerness to learn, and their willingness to 

The teaching assigned him covered the upper grades only, 
but he soon set up courses on the high school level. Pupils of 
unusual ability were guided into studies on the college level. Most 
of this work was done outside school hours. He had a great 
interest in botany and spent a good deal of time tramping 
through the woods. 

Mr. Brady encouraged girls as well as boys to develop their 
abilities, and urged the mills and factories to employ young wom- 


en in their offices. This called for reassurance to the mothers, 
who feared that their daughters "might get talked about", if they 
worked in such rough surroundings. 

An item in "The Plaindealer", early in 1886 reports : "Prof. 
Brady has shown that his system and work counts. The Mar- 
seilles Manufacturing Co. has in its employ some of the best pen- 
men in La Salle County. Prof. Brady laid the foundation to their 
present success. A business letter written by Miss Lillian Cram 
to Ottawa was conspicuously shown in the leading hotel there 
lately, and referred to as the prettiest specimen of a lady's pen- 
manship ever seen". 

But Mr. Brady had an unbridled temper, and parents com- 
plained that he gave unreasonably severe punishment to boys 
sent from the lower grades for discipline. His resignation, after 
eighteen years in Marseilles, seems to have followed such a case. 


The newspaper reported the regrets expressd at his going, and 
the gifts made to him by pupils and teachers, but in the fall, it 
carefully repeated the instructions given by the new principal to 
the teachers, to maintain discipline by kindness and patience. 

Mr. Brady made his way to California, and for several years 
was attached to exploring expeditions sent out by railroads, 
lumber companies or scientific societies. When he died, it was 
found that he had securities worth about $55,000. The sum, 
which would represent two or three times that value today, was 
mainly based on small but shrewd investments made during his 
stay in Marseilles. 

He had apparently been estranged from his family, and there 
was no clue to his identity. The rightful claims of his son and 


daughter were established with great difficulty and only by con- 
tacts made with men and women who as school children had 
signed their names to formal little notes of respect and gratitude, 
written to him thirty or forty years before. The small packet of 
letters seemed to be the only thing he had cherished in a long 


Farming families of the area around Marseilles felt the need 
of a school in which their daughters could receive education 
above the level of the district school, with training in genteel and 
ladylike department. 

Mrs. Mary Ann Pickett, widow of a young officer from 
Michigan who had been killed during the Civil War, came with 
her little son to visit the Brumback family. A group of farmers 
agreed to loan money to her to buy land and put up a suitable 
building, if she would operate the type of school they had in mind. 

The site chosen was a block of land, covered with fine oak 
trees, that extended along the west side of Chicago Street north 
of the town. The recollections of one of its teachers, written 



fifty years later, recalled that the building, put up in 1868, had 
two stories and a basement, and was "commodious in size, con- 
sisting of assembly and recitation rooms, parlors for social events 
and dining room and kitchen, besides the sleeping rooms". A 
brick walk leading to the garden was bordered by pine trees. 
The housekeeper pleased every one with the substantial food and 
many delicacies that were provided. 


Boarding- pupils included older girls and young women from 
farms and towns all over the country, and day pupils from the 
town included small boys as well as girls. A teen-age girl who 
took charge of the younger children was Mary Montgomery, 
daughter of Dr. James Montgomery. Elderly men and women 
still living here will recall that she was their seventh-grade 
teacher in the Central School in later years. 

Several years ago an airplane carrying high officials of the 
Standard Oil Company of Indiana swooped low across the East 
Hill, so Allan Jackson could show his colleagues where he had 
learned his ABC's. 

A young lady came from New York State to teach social 
deportment as well as English. When she became the bride of 
the banker, W. A. Morey, the wedding took place in the parlor 
of the school. 

The seminary was popular and prosperous under Mrs. Pick- 
ett's charge, but when she died seven years after founding it, 
there seemed to be no one to take her place. Dances were held in 
the building and church picnics under the oak trees, but the 


school was closed. George W. Parr, who held the mortgage, fin- 
ally took most of the lumber from the building for a barn on his 
farm. The dwelling made from the north end of the school was 
the home of William Jones, the plasterer, and later of James 
Carney and his family. 


Eighty-one little first graders crowded into the primary room 
at the East End School, in the fall of 1892. The emergency was 
met by rental of the little building at the corner of Chicago Street 
and East Bluff, formerly a bakery. 


The original East End School was destroyed by fire in 1897. 
One of the teachers, Belle Northrup, ran up to her classroom to 
rescue a file of school reports she had just completed. She said 
she had put too much work on them to let them go up in smoke. 
A similar white frame building was destroyed by fire in 1919. 
The present brick building, called the Lincoln School, was built 
in 1921. The principal is Miss Florence Fleming. 

Old antagonisms between the East End and the West End of 
the town had maintained the two separate school districts set up 
years before, each with a two-year high school. Demands for a 
four-year high school were growing, and common sense finally 
prevailed in 1893. An election authorized a single school district 
for the town and outlying areas. 

The brick building built on East Bluff Street was first named 
the Central School, to emphasize its compromise location. It 
housed the new high school and a primary classroom. The build- 
ing to the west, built in 1919, was the High School, then the 
Junior High School, then the McKinley School Annex. The 
principal of the McKinley School is Miss Lorene Brandner. 

The Washington School on West Bluff Street was built in 
1909. Its principal is now Mrs. Frances Fordyce. 

The Marseilles High School moved in 1936 to a new building 
on Chicago Street near the river, and in 1955 was enlarged to 


include the Junior High School. Music rooms, shops and a second 
gymnasium are included in a more recent addition. 

The principal of the Senior High School is Ivan C. Hall, and 
Robert Hart of the Junior High School. 

The superintendent for the entire system is Clyde Crawshaw. 


An outstanding record of service on the Board of Education 
was made by Dr. Paul R. Clark. He served on the Board for 
twenty-seven years, and for twenty-five years of that time was 
President of the Board. 


The need for a library had been under discussion in the town 
for many years before the goal was finally reached in 1905. 

A building site was acquired by public subscription and the 
city council provided for tax support and a library board. Funds 
for building were obtained from the great philanthropic endow- 
ment set up by Andrew Carnegie. 

Additions to the building, made in later years, provide assem- 
bly rooms for community meetings. 

The librarian for thirty-one years was Florence Marsh, 
granddaughter of the pioneer minister of the Brookfield Church. 
She was succeeded last year by Mrs. Myrtle Johnson with Mrs. 
Ray Finkle as assistant. 




The Marseilles Manufacturing Company deserves detailed 
treatment in a story all its own. It offers a perfect example of 
the type of industry that shaped American life for fifty years 
after the Civil War, and carried into the far corners of the earth 
the reputation of Americans for inventiveness, enterprise, hard 
bargaining but square dealing. Whatever faults it may have had, 
in labor relations or other fields, were the faults of all industry 
in that time. Its virtues were its own. 

These virtues grew out of the character and integrity of the 
owners, their mechanical ingenuity, their careful study of prob- 
lems as they came up, their imagination and courage in seeking 
foreign markets, and their reputation for living up to their word. 
Above all was the mutual respect between management and 
workers, and the pride of all in a job well done. 

The company was founded by Augustus Adams, a member of 
one of many branches of the Adams family of Massachusetts, 
which had contributed two presidents and many other illustrious 
men to the nation. He and his seven sons were making plows 
in a foundry in Sandwich when he decided to expand into other 
lines of farm machinery. 

Marseilles offered advantages over other towns in the area 
because water power could be leased at a low rate, and coal for 
steam power was available when high water or ice gorges closed 
the water power. The canal and railroad furnished direct trans- 
portation between Chicago and St. Louis. 

Augustus Adams and three sons came in 1867 and set up the 
Marseilles Manufacturing Company, reviving the name used by 
Lovell Kimball for his business enterprises. These of course had 
ceased to exist. The father soon left the active management to 
his son John Quincy Adams, who with three younger brothers 
carried on the business for forty-five years. It was a stock corpo- 
ration, but essentially family-owned and controlled. 

The first product of the company was a corn sheller for use 
on farms, powered by hand or by one horse walking in a circle. 
Soon they were making much larger shellers, with engines 
adapted to all type of fuel, even to natural gas in some areas of 
Pennsylvania. They expanded to include machinery for well 
drilling, feed grinding, handling grain in grain elevators, sawing 
wood, loading hay and pumping water. Their special pride in 
later years was a steel windmill that found a ready market in 
distant parts of the world. 

Two of the brothers, J. Q. and H. R., had an unusual degree 
of mechanical genius, and a very practical approach in applying 
it. They made trips to farms and grain elevators in many parts 
of the country, watching their machines in operation, talking 


with farmers as well as dealers, and studying at first hand the 
adaptations that would make the machinery work better under 
special local conditions in each area. Such trips were later made 
to Mexico, Argentina and Australia, with the use of interpreters 
when necessary. 

When the brothers could no longer spare the time for long 
journeys, younger representatives made trips to Capetown and 
Johannesburg in South Africa, and to coastal points in Arabia 
and India. Distributing centers were set up in Kansas City, Mo., 
on the East and West coasts, and in Mexico and Argentina. 

We may take it for granted that businessmen and farmers in 
foreign countries were pleased with the intelligent interest taken 
by the Americans in their problems, and the ingenuity applied to 
solving them. No doubt companies with other products were fol- 
lowing the same general plan, and building up the goodwill 
toward America that has been a priceless asset to our nation. 

The files of the weekly newspaper, the "Marseilles Plain- 
dealer", indicate that interest taken by the town in the affairs 
of the company. An item in 1882 states : 

"The M. M. Co. leaves no stone unturned in the endeavorto 
push trade lines. The demand for corn shelters was not so active 
in Texas as it should be, because all the corn down there is 

"What does the company do? Go to work to invent a shelter 
that will shell corn with the husk on. To test the matter, snapped 
corn was purchased from M. M. Simmons. With no such word 
as fail in their dictionary of business, Texas shall be supplied 
with the favorite and always reliable corn shelter." 

J. Q. Adams applied his Yankee ingenuity to the problem, 
and a few years later the newspaper reported with satisfaction 
that practically all the corn in the state of Texas had been shelled 
with Marseilles shelters specially modified for that use. "This 
machine is also making a record for itself in foreign countries." 

Three years later the newspaper reported with pride: "A 
four-foot windmill model, to be used for their trade with South 
America, is contemplated by the Marseilles Mfg. Co. An untiring 
effort to push things gives the company sales all over the world. 
Such a firm is worth a very great deal to a place." 

The Adams brothers were dignified men but never pompous. 
They took part in every aspect of small town life, in a spirit of 
sharing rather than dominating. Their labor force sometimes 
numbered two hundred and fifty men, in a period when that was 
not usual, but relations between management and workers 
seemed to be on a friendly basis at all times. 

In the early years it seems to have been customary for the 
workers in each department to give a New Year's gift to the 
shop foreman, usually an easy chair, gold watch, or photograph 


album. We may doubt whether these gifts were always evidence 
of affection. They may have been a form of job insurance, at a 
time when seniority rights were unheard of, and hiring and 
firing was at the whim of the foreman. The custom was dropped 
after a while. But foremen tried to keep good workers on, in 
hard times as well as good, and skilled mechanics were proud to 
say that they worked in the Adams plant. 

The brothers were constantly adding to the many patents 
owned by the company on improvements as they were made. In 
later years some worker might recall that it was really he who 
had thought up a certain improvement, and should have taken 
out the patent himself. Such claims are frequent in industrial 
processes that involve many workers, and cannot be easily 

Capitalists in larger industrial centers always had an eye on 
the company and the patents it controlled. In a time of hardship 


1879 - 1912 

"If affection for an inanimate thing is 
possible, then such is felt for the M. M. 
Company's bell. Its every echo thrills with 
gladness". — "The Plaindealer" 

(Bell now owned by National Biscuit Company. 
Shown by courtesy of Howard Adler, manaiter.) 


and business depression in 1896, an assignment of assets was 
made to a Peoria capitalist, when money was needed to meet the 
payroll. But the brothers may have been able to regain control, 
and certainly their management continued. 

A bell made by the famous McShane foundry in Baltimore 
was placed on the highest building of the plant in 1879. The 
sentiments of the "Plaindealer", expressed in 1893, were prob- 
ably shared by the whole town : 

"If affection for an inanimate thing is possible, then such 
is felt for the M. M. Company's bell. 

"As its sweet tones have swelled out on the air for these 
many years, they have conveyed to every citizen of our place 
the welcome tidings of a call to labor whose remuneration 
has conveyed joy, directly or otherwise, to each home in our 
city. Aye, its every echo thrills with gladness ! We have felt 
its hold upon our habits so forcibly since it has, for a while 
back, been rung out of usual hours. (A change from 12:30 
to 12:00 noon, and 5:30 to 5 P. M.) Both are upsets to our 
usual time calculations." 

The big bell in the cupola continued to ring each day, and the 
plant seemed as fixed as a mighty rock. A tremendous wave of 
dismay and bewilderment swept over the town when it was 
announced in 1912 that the company, its patents and much of its 
equipment had been sold to the John Deere Company of Moline, 
Illinois, a powerful and well-financed competitor in the agricul- 
tural implement field. The plant here was to be closed, but ar- 
rangements were made to provide employment for all workers 
who would move to Moline. 

For years afterward, people would say regretfully, "They 
should have managed to keep the Adams plant here." 

But probably that would have been impossible in any case. 
The heads of the family were growing old, but were still shrewd 
and observant. In foreign trade, powerful European associa- 
tions, backed by their governments, were crushing rival com- 
panies wherever they found them, and rushing swiftly toward 
World War I. Bigness seemed to be more impressive than 
quality, as a measure of prestige. Methods of sales promotion 
were changing. Replacement of obsolete equipment was more 
expensive, and working capital more difficult for small companies 
to raise than ever before. 

The day of the small family-owned company had passed. 
Forces beyond its control had defeated it. But it surrendered 
on honorable terms, when it protected the jobs of its workers to 
the last. 

A few weeks ago a conference of the leading industrialists 
of the country was rebuked sharply by a speaker from the U. S. 
Department of Commerce. They were losing out, he said, in the 


race for foreign markets because their representatives went only 
to large cities and talked only with the higher-ups. The man who 
was out in a muddy field, talking to a little group of farmers, was 
a German or a Japanese. 



Roderic Clark formed the Marseilles Land and Water Power 
Company in 1866, in association with Isaac Underhill and 0. W. 
Young of Peoria. Underhill had made a small fortune in land 
speculation, and put up the money to build a dam, excavate mill- 


races and set up machinery to transmit power to mills or work- 
shops. The dam, eight feet in height and a thousand feet in 
length, remained in use for thirty years. 

A paper mill and a mill for grinding oatmeal made the first 
leases for power in 1867, and Marseilles had bright dreams of 
its future as an industrial center. But Underhill lost his fortune 
in new speculation, and died soon afterward. 

Roderic Clark began an energetic search for manufacturers 
in need of the power he was now prepared to lease. It was 
through his influence that Augustus Adams and his sons were 
induced to set up the farm implement shops that soon became the 
Marseilles Manufacturing Company. 


The H. A. Pitts' Sons Manufacturing Company prospered in 
the farm implement industry in Chicago till their factories were 
destroyed in the famous Chicago fire in 1871. They transferred 
their industry to Marseilles, at the suggestion of Roderic Clark, 
and continued their production of threshing machines. Soon they 
employed more workers than any other company in the town. 

Many of the mills and factories set up at this time had very 
limited capital, and were dependent for their operation on loans 
from wealthy investors and speculators in the East. These loans 
had been negotiated through Roderic Clark. His sudden death 
led to many bankruptcy proceedings disastrous to the new busi- 
ness enterprises and to the town. 


The water power passed into the control of Bird Bickford, a 
lawyer from Ottawa, who had great ambition but little money. 
He made plans to build a paper mill that would be the largest in 
the United States at that time. 

Construction began in 1882, with stone quarried from the 
hillside behind Bickford's home, the site now of Allender's H. 
and H. Service Station. Bickford's proud predictions of the 
future glory of the mill amused the workmen, who agreed that 
it would indeed be the "New Jerusalem". The name stuck. 

Bickford had invested heavily in other unwise ventures and 
by 1884 he was ruined financially. The "New Jerusalem" stood 
unfinished for ten years. A group of young men interested in the 
new sport of cycling, formed a "wheelmen's club" and practiced 
in its long empty corridors. 

When it came into the possession of the National Biscuit 
Company, their construction engineers found that its masonry 
was still true and firm. The "New Jerusalem" became a part 
of their present eight-story plant. 


Lucius Clark was associated with the Water Power Company 
for several years, mainly in efforts to induce mill owners to 
locate their plants in Marseilles. 

Ferdinand Schumacher, an elderly German who had made a 
fortune in cereal manufacture in Ohio, was in need of a factory 
for the production of cartons. Clark induced him to buy the 
water power rights and the "New Jerusalem" mill. The mill was 
completed and equipped to make cartons, and money was spent 
freely to improve the water power. The people of Marseilles were 
fond of Mr. Schumacher and were deeply sympathetic when he 
was tricked by his associates in Ohio into the loss of his fortune. 
Receivers representing his creditors came to operate his prop- 
erties here. 


W. D. Boyce bought the water power rights in 1900, built a 
new dam across the river, and improved the races and power 

The Marseilles Land and Water Power Company is now 
owned entirely by the W. D. Boyce Estate. It leases some power 
for local plants and utilities but much of the power is distributed 
by the Illinois Power Company to other cities. 


John F. Clark became manager of a small mill in 1882 and 
began production of glazed paper for book publishers. In other 
mills he later manufactured wrapping paper, strawboard used 
for egg cases, and a composition paper board needed for cartons 



for bakery products. He built a pulp mill to supply wood fiber 
for this type of board. He was associated with R. F. Knott and 
the Crescent Paper Mill in much of this production. 

Clark was always handicapped by lack of capital, but each 
type of paper manufacture set up by him eventually was taken 
over by interests with abundant financial resources. For a time 
Marseilles had a "golden age" of plant construction and new 
employment opportunities. 


W. D. Boyce first came to manufacture book paper in associa- 
tion with Clark. When he began publication of newspapers, he 
bought Clark's pulp mill and quickly expanded it into great news- 


print facilities that were the dominant industry of the town for 
several years. When he retired from the publishing business, the 
manufacture of newsprint came to an end here. 

In the meantime, bakery companies increased their demands 
for paper cartons. The National Biscuit Company noticed that 
the paper board supplied by Marseilles mills was superior to the 
product received from other companies. The Howe and Davidson 
Company took over the Clark mills used for this purpose, and 
built the largest plant in the city. 

After turning his chief operations over to the companies 
named, John F. Clark continued other types of production until 
his tragic and untimely death in 1905, at the age of fifty-one 
years. It was recalled that his chief pride had been that he had 
managed to keep his workmen steadily employed, in some way 
or other, in hard times as well as good. 


The National Biscuit Company bought the Howe and David- 
son plant in 1902, and began to supply cartons to all the Nabisco 

In 1921 the National Biscuit Company built its present eight- 
story plant, at that time the largest industrial building in the 


state outside of Chicago, and the first air-conditioned factory in 
this part of the country. 

The National Biscuit Company has now been in continuous 
operation for fifty-eight years, longer than any other industrial 


organization in the history of the city. It has been generous in 
its contributions, and co-operative with its own labor force and 
with the public in many civic activities. It is to be noted that the 
manager, Howard Adler, is a "home town boy" who came up 
through the production departments of the great plant. 



One small two-man shop was better known in distant parts 
of the country than in Marseilles. It was the model shop of Dr. 
J. H. Goodell and his son Earnest, where in addition to repairs 
on small machines, working models were made for those who 
wished to submit applications for patents. Dr. Goodell was a 
well-trained physician, but failing health compelled him to give 
up his practice. His patience and precision in making delicate 
miniature machines, as well as his integrity in safe-guarding the 
secrets of his customers, made him known to inventors and 
patent attorneys, and he received orders from many parts of the 
country. His suggestions often helped inventors to improve on 
their own work. 

Charles R. Arnold, one of the first photographers here, might 
be regarded as an early-day commercial artist. In addition to 
studio portraits, he did a good deal of photography for industrial 
catalogues and reports. He collected royalties for several years 
on three inventions for the improvement of photographic equip- 
ment. He also taught classes in art at the Pleasant View Luther 
Academy in Ottawa. 


A newspaper named the "Marseilles Gazette" began publica- 
tion in 1866. It became the "Marseilles Daily Register", under 
M. F. Bovard, and his associates, John M. Nicholson, editor, and 
Mabel Smith and Lessie Fleming, typesetters. When a linotype 
machine was installed, Lessie became a reporter. Publication 
ended in 1912. 

In 1908 the Ottawa Republican-Times set up a Marseilles 
bureau. J. Ray Beffel and his brother and sister "covered the 
town." Miss Vera Naretty has been in charge of the bureau for 
a number of years. 

The "Marseilles Plaindealer", a weekly published from 1876 
to 1919, was a reflection of the even temperament of Terry 
Simmons, who, with the help of four sons, filled the paper with 
readable items. 

In 1902 the "Plaindealer" began publication of a short section 
each week in which news items of earlier years were summarized. 


The editor suggested that these sections be pasted into scrap- 
books. These scrapbooks were treasured for years in many 
households, and today offer a mine of source material for study 
of day to day small town life that was far more lively and inter- 
esting than we realize today. 

A group of merchants in 1921 induced W. I. Dunlap and Sons 
to set up a job printing shop and a newspaper as a medium for 
local advertising. The "Marseilles Daily Press", a four-page 
newspaper, has been issued without interruption since that time. 
C. I. and Frieda Dunlap are proprietors at present. 

Another medium for conveying news and advertising is a 
short morning broadcast over Radio Station WCMY, by Bonnie 
Arnold (Mrs. James N. Arnold), and Vera Ameday. It is di- 
rected to Marseilles listeners, but draws response occasionally 
from a much more extensive area. 


The First National Bank, set up in 1871, was a solid institu- 
tion. Prosperous farmers on its board, like Nathan Fleming of 
Rutland Township and B. F. Gage of Brookfield, held the confi- 
dence of rural customers as well as mill owners in town. 

The officers who peered through their wickets at the public, 
W. A. Morey, Frank Neff and Will Rollo, had the air of aloofness 
and caution that was expected of bankers. 

The bank prospered till it was overwhelmed, along with 
thousands of others, in the long business depression of the 1930's. 
By the banking laws of the time, each of the stockholders was 
obliged to put twice the value of his shares into a fund to protect 
the depositors as far as possible. Since all their assets were de- 
pressed in value, this must have caused real difficulty. From 
the fund made up by the stockholders, depositors finally received 
87 per cent of their money. 

Sherman R. Lewis set up a Currency Exchange, to cash pay 
checks and rent safe deposit boxes, so the town managed to get 

In 1945 the Union National Bank was organized with Parr A. 
Rhines as president. Harmon D. Andrews is executive vice- 
president, and Earle 0. Corley is cashier. 



The recreations of the early period of settlement are known 
to us only through old letters, family traditions or the memoirs 
of old settlers. For the period of the 70's, 80's and 90's, we have 
abundant information on small town social life through the files 
of newspapers of that time. 


Almost every party was spoken of as a "surprise" party, and 
presumably the guests brought the refreshments. Church socials, 
held with great frequency, were announced as strawberry festi- 
vals, peach and ice cream socials, watermelon feasts, pie socials, 
oyster suppers, and even milk and mush socials in the early 70's. 
All were held in the homes of members, or on their lawns. 

Dances were held in Clark's Hall on Main Street or in halls 
in the Brick Block, in lodge rooms and hotel dining rooms. The 
annual ball of the Light Guards, a militia unit, was the social 
event of the year. Companies of volunteer firemen tried to out- 
do each other in dances that gave them a chance to wear their 
colorful uniforms. Platforms were erected for dancing in sum- 
mer, in vacant lots or in Lovers' Lane, along the bank of the 
river. Lighting was provided by Chinese paper lanterns, sus- 
pended from trees or from ropes above the platform. 

Torchlight parades were usually a part of political rallies, 
though any excuse would do. They began or ended at the porch 
of the Beckwith Hotel, operated by Mrs. A. A. Poole at the 
present site of the Mars Theatre on Main Street. Parades 
stepped off to the music of fife and drum corps units trained by 
Deacon Hurd. 

Later there were two marching bands and two string bands 
in the town, all made up of amateur talent. The bands combined 
to buy a large brightly-decorated wagon with rising tiers of 
seats, drawn by two teams of horses. It was the envy of similar 
bands wherever it appeared in parades in neighboring towns. 
"Getting on the bandwagon" really meant something in those 

Ice skating on the canal was a popular winter sport for people 
of all ages, and skating clubs here exchanged visits with those 
of Ottawa, Seneca and Morris. Occasionally the river was frozen 
over, and there was skating around the island. 

The water in the river was then clean enough for swimming, 
but there were dangerous currents, and many adults as well as 
children were drowned in the river or the canal, or in abandoned 
stone quarries and gravel pits. Little seemed to be known about 
rescue methods or first-aid measures. 


It may be surprising to many to learn that roller skating was 
tremendously popular in the 1880's and 90's. Rinks in the base- 
ments of two hotels had been in use for a few years when in 
January, 1885, the "Plaindealer" stated firmly: "This paper 
advocates strongly the building of a skating rink, that our people 
may keep in touch with the spirit of the age". 

A month later: "William Peace is erecting a skating rink on 
Washington Street (east of Pine Street). The rink and hall will 


be 50 x 100 feet, and the skating surface will be 40 x 85 feet. 
Seating capacity, 1000." In May: "An event of great interest 
was the opening of the Washington Roller Skating Rink". Con- 
testants on roller skates pushed wheelbarrows around the course, 
or scooped up marbles or oranges. Polo games were played, with 
seven on each side. Johnnie Lansing was the champion "roller- 
ist" of the town. W. E. Smith (a livery stable keeper) won the 
fat man's race. 

Women held roller skating parties as daytime social events. 
A prominent hostess, Mrs. J. A. Galloway, fell and broke her 

Amateur theatricals might be held in churches if the theme 
was "elevating". "Ten Nights in a Barroom" and "Uncle Tom's 
Cabin" won approval on that score. "Golden Hair and the Three 
Bears" was put on several times. It was described as a beautiful 
operetta, so it must have been a rather elaborate variation of the 
childhood tale. It was produced at the Skating Rink. 


The temperance movement had amazing strength in those 
days. The Cold Water Army, apparently enrolling both adults 
and children, had a membership of 613 at one time. There were 
Red Ribbon Clubs and Blue Ribbon Clubs, and clubs with the 
same names came from twelve surrounding towns to a conven- 
tion at the Skating Rink. Ottawa "went the temperance advo- 
cates one better," and sent delegates from Father Matthew's 
Total Abstinence Society. Talks before the convention included 
one on "Effects of Alcohol on the Moderate Drinker's Stomach", 
illustrated with colored charts. 

George Woodford lectured every night for two weeks pre- 
ceding a village election at which the issue was the granting of 
a license for a saloon. There were 800 persons present for some 
of the lectures. The results — 202 for license, 217 against. The 
village trustees granted a license anyway. 

The town was proud of the Marseilles Brown Stockings, its 
baseball team. The members were welcomed home with torch- 
light parades when they won victories in Joliet, Elgin or Aurora. 

"Wheeling clubs" of young men rode high-wheeled velocipedes 
and later used the "safety" type of bicycle. One young man 
claimed that he had covered 102 miles in nine hours, on a dirt 
road that was "as level as a floor". 


Horses were the only means of transportation, either for 
work or pleasure. A good team of work horses often cost as much 
as $400, an amazing figure in relation to the low price of farm 
products and wages of $1.00 or $1.50 paid for a day's work. 

A hundred teams or more were often tied up along Main 
Street on a busy day, and as many more were moving about the 
streets of the town. It is not surprising that runaways were a 
frequent occurrence, with serious and sometimes fatal results. 
The following news items are typical of many : 

"Charles Kirk narrowly escaped having his neck broken 
when thrown by a horse he was riding." 

"William Forrest was run over by a team in Chicago, and 
his life is despaired of." 

"Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Peace were thrown from their car- 
riage. Mr. Peace got a bad cut over one eye. Mrs. Peace was 
carried home unconscious". 

"Miss Stella Storey was thrown from a carriage in East 
Marseilles, when the team ran away. She received internal 
injuries that seem to be serious". 

It was a treat to small children to see the Shetland ponies and 
their tiny colts on the Henry Dickerman farm, but only a few 
in the town owned Shetlands. Many of the older boys used as 
saddle ponies the wiry, light-weight broncos or mustangs from 
the Western Plains. Younger boys preferred to tag along with 
Bucky Watland and his goat. 

A Driving Park Association set up a half-mile dirt track 
along the roadway south of town, where Eb Barber trained his 
famous "Tural". Later there was another track west of town. 


On Sunday afternoons, family groups and young couples 
strolled through Lover's Lane, a broad grassy walk bordered by 
beautiful trees that stretched for half a mile along the bank of 
the river. The father of the family often brought a jug to be 
filled with artesian water from the constantly-flowing well near 
the walk. Boats could be rented at Campbell's Landing for row- 
ing or fishing on the river. 

Honey Boy (George) Evans, a home town boy who had be- 
come famous as a writer of popular songs, assured his admirers 
that their favorite, "In the Good Old Summertime", had been 
inspired by his memories of Lover's Lane. 

In warm summer twilights, householders trimmed their roses, 
watered their lawns, and sat rocking gently on their porches. 
Later in the evening they might stroll down to Orsi's new ice 
cream parlor, to sit on stiff little metal chairs around small tables. 
Kusmaul's Bakery began to serve ice cream in the evening, and 
drug stores put in "soda fountains." 

The Columbia Opera House, built in 1893 at the corner of 
Washington and State Streets, was a substantial stone and brick 
structure. Leading dramatic and musical artists of the time ap- 


peared there in one-night stands, and amateur theatricals were 
gradually given up. The opera house was used for high school 
commencements, and the first motion pictures ever seen in the 
town were shown there. 


With the coming of motion pictures and later of radio and 
television, and with the commercial development of spectator 
sports, interest in earlier forms of recreation lessened. Increas- 
ing use of automobiles made it easy to reach larger centers or 
public parks, where facilities were available for active as well 
as spectator sports. Out of town visits and sight-seeing trips 
were preferred forms of recreation. 

In recent years there has been a swing back to interest in 
simple forms of recreation that can be carried on with facilities 


available in the town. A City Recreation Board plans use of 
the City Park and school playgrounds, as well as Illini State 
Park, with emphasis on activities for children and young people. 

It will be noticed that most of the organizations that are 
active in 1960 have service to the community as one of their 
special objectives. Hundreds of civic-minded men and women 
give countless hours each year in directing and encouraging 
the activities of young people and children, entirely without 
compensation except in the satisfaction of knowing they are 
doing something worth-while. 

The recreational organization known as Folk Valley seems 
to be loosely organized but strongly linked, an association that 
grew out of an interest in square dancing, but has now acquired 


a tract of forty acres of land, and built a cabin as a meeting 
place. The acreage is being developed as a sanctuary for birds 
and small animals, and for individual and group projects in 
landscaping or forest conservation. 

The American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, 
make their halls available for many civic affairs and for social 


There was general agreement that a public swimming pool 
would be an asset to the city, but estimates of cost furnished 
by construction companies were discouraging. 

Members of the Lions Club, after careful study, showed that 
the cost could be greatly reduced through co-operative effort, 
and volunteered to direct their own plan. 

To meet legal requirements, a nonprofit corporation, the 
Marseilles Lions Club Community Service Corporation was 
formed, with club members as its officers. A site on Commercial 
Street, with ample parking space, was donated to the city by 

■:~ : *:s#:^ ! w;<«;w"-''-;.r 


the Marseilles Land and Water Power Company. The corpora- 
tion was to control the operation of the pool till all indebtedness 
was paid, and title to all assets would then revert to the city. 

Lions Club members, under direction of Dr. Don A. Vespa, 
Henry J. Tisler, Jr. and James N. Arnold, collected $41,800 in 
contributions from business firms and individuals. Materials 
donated by business firms, and labor donated by club members, 
local unions and others, reduced construction costs to a minimum. 


When the pool was opened to the public in May, 1959, the only 
indebtedness was $18,800, secured by interest-bearing twenty- 
year bonds, which are being paid off through fees for the use of 
the pool. 

This fine example of community effort has given Marseilles 
a recreation facility that would have cost at least $120,000 if 
constructed commercially. The water supply for the pool is drawn 
from its own deep well and treated in a filtering plant. The 
corporation employs swimming instructors and lifeguards. Hun- 
dreds of children enrolled in recreation programs in neighboring 
towns are brought in school buses for swimming instruction here. 



When plans were made to open the Lakes to the Gulf Water- 
way, the federal government assumed direct control of certain 
parts of the work, but left others to be constructed by state and 
local authorities. Marseilles was fortunate in acquiring four 
major improvements. 

The Marseilles Lock, located at Bell's Island west of Mar- 
seilles, is 600 ft. in length, 110 ft. in width and 43 ft. deep. Each 
time the lock is operated, 11,800,000 gals, of water are required, 

BROKEN LINE (Sketch by Robert Stride) 

and a vessel entering the lock is raised or lowered a distance of 
23 ft. Water from Lake Michigan is diverted into the waterw r ay 
at Chicago to maintain the level needed. Plans are under way to 
lengthen the lock to 1,200 ft. 


The Government Dam permits some water to pass under its 
crest down the regular channel of the river. Most of the water 
diverted from Lake Michigan is turned near the dam into a chan- 
nel cut beside the river. It is 27 ft. deep and 200 ft. wide, and 
permits vessels to pass two and a half miles downstream to the 
Lock, avoiding the rapids in the river. 

The land along the south bank of the Illinois River from the 
Lock eastward was developed into Illini State Park, with attrac- 
tive facilities for recreation. 

The city is indebted to I. N. Baughman, former mayor, for 
the construction of the present bridge across the river. The state 
planned to economize by using the bridge then existing, and 
adding an unsightly and dangerous approach on the south side. 
Mayor Baughman presented protests in court so effectively that 
the judge ruled against the state, and the new bridge was built. 
It was named the Clark-Adams Bridge, in tribute to Roderic 
Clark and Augustus Adams. 



The United Progressive Citizens Corporation, a nonprofit 
organization of members of labor unions, keeps up a steady effort 
to bring new industries to Marseilles. The search involves a 
tremendous amount of work by its president, Steve Tarochione, 
and its attorney, Joseph T. Guerrini. Assistance is given by other 
officers of the corporation, John Leigh, Steve Faletto, William 
Smith and John Price. The success they have gained, in stiff 
competition with other cities, should be appreciated by the com- 

The National Phosphate Corporation, a chemical industry, 
will construct a phosphoric acid plant along the Illinois River 
east of Marseilles, to produce acid used in fertilizers. The officers 
of the company were favorably impressed in their interviews 
with the men from Marseilles, not only by the natural advantages 
of the site, but by offers of aid in constructing a road to the 
highway and in preparing the site for construction. 

Several years ago the Marseilles Industrial Expansion Corpo- 
ration, in which J. Gifford Campbell served as president and H. 
D. Andrews as vice president, worked with the United Progres- 
sive Citizens Corporation through J. Lindo Silver as liaison of 
the two groups. As a result of a fine co-operative effort, The 
Belmill Manufacturing Company, a garment industry, was in- 
duced to expand its facilities with the help offered, and to remain 
in Marseilles. The community found its reward in the employ- 
ment now given to more than a hundred women workers. 

A large factory on Commercial Street, vacated by the Certain- 
teed interests, had been a strong talking point in interviews with 


prospective industries. When the owners planned to destroy it, 
Steve Tarochione joined with J. Gifford Campbell, Joseph T. 
Guerrini and J. Lindo Silver in forming the Marseilles Develop- 
ment Corporation to buy the building and to hold it in readiness 
for a future tenant. It may then be bought or leased at favorable 
terms, and occupied without delay. This may be the deciding 
factor in attracting a desirable industry. The search for a tenant 



The Hundredth Anniversary of the founding of the City of 
Marseilles was marked by the greatest venture in community co- 
operation that the town had ever seen. It was held on Saturday 
through Monday, August 31 - September 2, 1935. The programs 
for the various days, held mainly in the afternoons and evenings, 
included band concerts and musical competitions in band music, 
fife and drum corps and old-fashioned dance music. Parades 
were held from Main Street to DeFilippi Field, the present site 
of the High School, and to Community Park, the present Com- 
munity Swimming Pool location. 

There was a Coronation Service for the Queen of Marseilles 
at Community Park, and awards for Miss Columbia and her 
attendants. The Queen was Freida Erickson, a beautiful girl 
with red-brown hair. She has been deceased for many years. 
Each evening there was a performance of a gigantic historical 
pageant, "One Hundred Years in Marseilles" in Community 
Park. More than 400 residents took part in fourteen scenes that 
began with a "Creation Ballet" and led down through historical 
episodes to World War I and the "Masque of the Nations". 

On Sunday morning, a boulder bearing a bronze plate was 
dedicated to Lovell Kimball, who had died of cholera in 1848 
and was buried in the little cemetery on the East Hill above Pearl 
Street. The Rev. M. G. Linton gave the address. Later, all 
churches in the city held home-coming services. 

Illini State Park was dedicated in the afternoon, and there 
were band concerts, and contests, as well as boat races on the 
river. The pageant was repeated in the evening and was followed 
by the Centennial Ball in Ivy Way Gardens, a large dance hall. 

It is interesting to note that sightseeing airplane rides were 
offered as a new and rare experience, and the point was empha- 
sized that the pilots and planes were licensed by the government. 

On Monday, Labor Day, there were band concerts and com- 
petitions, a mammoth parade from Main Street to the baseball 
field. A great fireworks display followed the final performance 
of the pageant, and prizes for all the competitions of the cele- 
bration were awarded. 


The town breathed a collective sigh of relief when the cele- 
bration ended, but there was pride in the remembrance that its 
citizens had undertaken a great task and had carried it through 
with a well-planned, well-executed program from beginning to 


The plans for the 125th Anniversary Celebration call for fes- 
tivities extending from July 23 through July 31. A high point will 
be the Coronation Ball and the crowning of "Miss Marseilles", in 
the High School gymnasium. A "MEAL ON MAIN STREET", 
a spaghetti dinner, will be served on Wednesday evening, July 27, 
at tables set up on the Main Street pavement from the Rock Is- 
land tracks to the head of the street. Advance sales of tickets 
indicate that 5,000 guests will be served. Harold Danelson will 
be in charge of preparing and serving the dinner. Governor 
William G. Stratton and Mrs. Stratton will be the guests of 

There will be a horse show, ball games and competitions of 
various sorts, with a great parade and fireworks display. A 
feature that will probably be greeted with much enthusiasm will 
be days and hours when old-fashioned prices will be offered by 
merchants. Windows along Main Street and elsewhere will pre- 
sent exhibits of unusual historical value. 

The Committee in charge of the 125th Anniversary Celebra- 
tion includes Mayor David Guthrie as Chairman ; J. Lindo Silver 
and Harold V. Danelson as Co-ordinators ; Earl E. Smith, Secre- 
tary; J. G. Campbell, Finance and Budget; and Sam D. Viviani, 
Public Relations. 




Incorporated as a Village, 1856, as a City, 1891 
Commission Form of Government Since 1913 



Department of Accounts, Finance Ben Guerrini 

Department of Streets, Public Improvements . . Leslie J. Mitchell 

Department of Public Health, Safety Earl E. Smith 

Department of Public Property John Lavery 


City Attorney Joseph T. Guerrini 

City Clerk Steve Faletto 

Police Magistrate Frank J. Raimondo 

City Treasurer James J. Sutton 


Chief John Armstrong 

Assistants Dan McDonald, Wilbur Smouse 

25 Volunteer Firemen 


Chief Harvey Blue 

Assistants Radar Roalson, Roy Pitts, Dominick Dolio, 

Harold Fewell 

Meters Dominic Leon 

Superintendent Preston LeRette 


Manlius and Rutland Townships 

Clarence E. Hagy, John Bastuck, Frank Mattioda, 
Willis Price, Alfred Rix 



Kenneth L. Mulvaney, 

Earle 0. Corley, Secretary 

Robert L. Allen, Treasurer 

Jack Trager, Legal Adviser 
Harold Danelson 
Deane Dix 
Marion Moore 
Robert E. Smith 



Most Have State or National Affiliation 

A. F. of L Unions 
Labor Local No. 393 
National Biscuit Co. 

Altrua Club 

American Legion Post 

American Legion Auxiliary 

Loyal Order of Moose Lodge 

Eastern Star 

Junior American Legion 

Junior Matrons 

Junior Women's Club 

La Salle County Trap Club 

Marseilles Lions Club 

Marseilles Sea Scouts Ship 94 

Masonic Lodge 

Odd Fellows Lodge 

Parent Teachers Association 

Rakers Auto Club 

Rebekah Lodge 

Rod Benders Club 

Rotary Club 

Royal Neighbors 

Women's Club 

Veterans of Foreign Wars 

V. F. W. Auxiliary 

Women of the Moose 

Marseilles Unit of the Ryburn Memorial Hospital "Pink Ladies" 

Marseilles Volunteer Firemen's Association 



In years to come, these pages will indicate many points of interest about 
the life of our town. We are indebted to the Rakers Club for collecting the 
information listed. 


A & P Store — John Leheney, Mgr. — Grocery 

Allender's H & H Service — J. K. Allender — Gasoline Service 1955 

Alliance Theatres, Mars — X. M. Mitchell — Motion Pictures 1936 

Allied Marine — Dr. Jed Johnson — Boats, Motors 1957 

Armstrong and Son — E. W. and John E. — Transfer, Moving 1914 

B. P. E. Motor Sales — Victor Ellena, John Pomatto — Garage 1922 

Bagley Coal Co. — Burton L. Bagley — Coal 1957 

Ed Barker and Son — Charles E. Barker — Plumbing, Heating 1931 

I. N. R. Beatty Lumber Co. — Joseph J. Laurich, Mgr. — Lumber 1943 

Belmill Mfg. Co. — Richard-Sutton Co. — Sewing Jackets 1951 

Ben Franklin Store — Arthur Brumwell, Mgr. — Variety Store 1949 

Blackhawk Food Distributors — Wm. A. Joritz, LeRoy R. Spencer 1946 

Bob's Barbershop — Bob Thomas — Barber 1956 

Bolatto Bros. Tavern — Bolatto Family — Tavern and Bowling 1910 

Bob and Rose's Tap — Robert Stewart — Tavern 1958 

Bruno's Tap — Cello Bruno — Tavern 1928 

Mrs. Elsie Caldwell — Community Nurse 1959 

J. Gilford Campbell — Mortician 1948 

Caselli Insurance Agency — John D. Caselli — Insurance, Real Estate . . 1954 

Central Heating and Engineering Service — Gerald Brodbeck 1956 

City Rexall Drugs — Carl J. Hill and Frank L. Peyla — Drugs 1954 

Paul R. Clark, M. D. — Physician and Surgeon 1920 

Ted Clark, D.D.S. — Dentist 1936 

Club Almar — Joe, Eleanor Svoboda — Tavern, Restaurant 1959 

E. A. Collins — Dry Goods 1915 

Consumers Oil Products Co. — John R. Hinch — Petroleum Products . . . 1921 
Daily Republican-Times — Vera Naretty, Mgr. — Newspaper, 

Marseilles Bureau 1908 

Danelson's Confectionery — Harold Danelson — Confectionery 1946 

Dayton Dairy — Frank Cresto — Dairy Products 1945 

Decker Gas and Electric Co. — William R. Decker — Appliances, 

Contracting 1946 

DeLuxe Beauty and Style Salon — Mrs. F. Buffo — Beautician, 

Dress Shop 1936 

Dinelli's Market — Rodolph, Mary Dinelli — Grocery 1950 

Dumke Florist — Henry, Fred Dumke — Greenhouse 1913 

John Dunham's Lawn Mower Service — John Dunham 1957 

Richard F. Dunn, M.D. — Physician and Surgeon 1947 

East End Market — Roland W. Price — Grocery 1949 

F. & M. Market — Lewis M. (Geno) Tram — Grocery 1927 

Farmer's Music Shop — Donald Farmer — Piano Tuning 1957 

Fenoglio Electric Co. — John Fenoglio — Retail Appliances 1947 

Fenoglio Grocery — Mrs. Frances Fenoglio — Grocery 1922 

Fenton Grocery — Marion, Mary Fenton — Grocery 1952 

Fewell's Bakery — Raymond Fewell — Bakery 1925 


Harold Fewell Studio — Harold C. Fewell — Photography 1950 

Finkle Service Station — Ray W. Finkle — Gasoline Service 1936 

Foutch Barbershop — Lester Foutch — Barber 1937 

Frances Frackowiak, R. N. — Office Nurse 1950 

N. L. Gaddis — Insurance 1945 

Ray's Gamble Store — Ray Harris — Hardware 1958 

Ganz Greenhouse — Paul Ganz 1959 

Gibson's Painting Co. — Harry Gibson 1947 

Gleason and Co. — W. F. Gleason — Furniture and Hardware 1924 

Grace Hardin's Restaurant — Grace Hardin 1943 

Grenda Body Shop — Leo Grenda — Auto Repairs 1958 

Louis Pharmacy — Louis T. Guenzani, R.Ph. — Drugs 1946 

Joseph T. Guerrini — Attorney 1933 

Helen's Gift Shop — Louis Haslam, Dean Davis 1953 

Glenn Hicks T.V. — Television Sales and Service 1959 

Hicksgas Marseilles, Inc. — Ernest Austin, Mgr. — Propane Gas 1959 

Carl J. Hill — Druggist 1954 

Illini Milling Co. — Richard Rice, Louis Reynolds — Feed Grinding 1958 

Illinois Power Co. — Hydraulic Plant 1911 

Illinois Valley Sales — James Barnes — Milk Distributors 1945 

Illinois Valley Water Co. — J. P. Hollerich — Water Service 1953 

Iverson Machine Shop — Edward Iverson — Welding 1916 

Ivy Way Garage — Charles J. Huss — Auto Repairs 1940 

Ivy Way Market — Joseph Baima and Son — Grocery 1953 

Janke's Small Engine Repair Shop — Ora Janke — Engine Repairs .... 1959 

Edwin Jed Johnson, M.D. — Physician and Surgeon 1948 

Ray Johnson's Barbershop 1914 

Juanita's Beauty Shop — Juanita Scott — Beautician 1956 

Pearl E. Kissane, R.N 1936 

Lavery Shoe Store — John Lavery — Clothing and Shoes 1940 

Leger Service Station — Paul Leger — Gasoline Service 1957 

Reynolds Macchietto, D.C. — Chiropractor 1954 

Maier-Schroeder Chevrolet Co. — Joseph Maier, Alvin Schroeder 1945 

Main Street Feed Store — Harry Schultheis, Charles Spray 1950 

Majcina Magikist Rug Cleaners — Edward J. Majcina 1950 

Marine Tap — Wilbur R. Jones — Tavern 1953 

Mars Hotel — Mabel Wilhelm 1930 

Marseilles Building & Loan Assn 1890 

Marseilles Cleaners — Walter Albertus — Dry Cleaning 1949 

Marseilles Coin Laundry — Lean Marselle — Coin Laundry 1959 

Marseilles Daily Press — C. I. and Freida Dunlap 1921 

Marseilles Dairy — Ralph Spampanato — Dairy Products 1948 

Marseilles Development Corp. — Business Promotion 1959 

Marseilles Grain Co. — Don Reany, Manager — Grain Supplies 1947 

Marseilles Land & Water Power Co. — W. D. Boyce Estate 1866 

Marseilles Motel — Carl Herman 1953 

Marseilles Nursing Service — Community Nursing 1919 

Marseilles Plumbing and Heating Co. — Frank Morgan, Leroy Berge . . . 1945 

Marseilles, Illinois, Post Office — George M. Farrell, Postmaster 

Marseilles Sales Agency — R. D. Allendar — New and Used Autos .... 1947 

Marseilles Salvage Co. — T. W. Smith and Russell Smith 1945 

Marseilles Telephone Company 1895 

Marseilles Veterinary Clinic — D. L. Nickerson, D.V.M 1960 

Sam and Dorothy Mason — Sanitary Hauling 1955 


McGurty Service — John T. McGurty — Gasoline Service 1955 

McNally Apartment House — Neva McNally 1926 

McNamara, John A. — Attorney and Insurance 1950 

Phillip A. Mendel, R.Ph. — Druggist 1949 

Metille T.V. — Melvin Metille — T.V. and Radio Sales and Service 1960 

Midwest Grocery and Meat — Virgil Bernardi 1922 

Morello's — Bab Morello — Tavern and Package Liquors 1896 

Morey's Motors — Martin Morey 1938 

Moy Jewelry — Herb and Dorothey Moy — Jewelry 1943 

Muffler's Excavating and Landscaping — Fritz Muffler 1951 

Munari Radio and T.V. — A. Munari — Radio and T.V. Service 1950 

Nanni Shoe Shop — Louis Nanni — Shoe Repairs 1918 

National Biscuit Company — Howard Adler, Mgr 1902 

Mrs. Earline Outman, R.N 1956 

Peerless Cleaners — John O. Rensch — Dry Cleaning 1925 

Perino's Greenhouse — Frank Perino 1953 

Phillimore Saddle Shop — George W. Phillimore 1895 

Prairie Lake Hunt Club — Ralph Erickson — Hunting Club & Lodge . . . 1956 

R. & R. Drive-Inn — W. L. Richmond, Wayne Riskedahl 1960 

Rafferty's Grocery — Orville Rafferty — Groceries 1955 

Ann Raimondo — Beautician 1945 

Ralph's Tap — Ralph Mathes — Tavern 1952 

Reese's Barbershop — Reese Allen 1942 

Mrs. Gladys J. Repke, R.N. — Community Nurse 1948 

Rhines Grocery — R. Rhines 1959 

Rhines Hardware — Deane S. Dix 1922 

Road Chief Gas Station — Wallis Hovies — Gasoline Service 1957 

Rock Island Lines — C. R. I. & P. Railroad 1853 

Rose Barge Lines, Inc. — Water Transportation 1952 

Route- Way Gas Station — Edward Johnson — Gasoline Service 1956 

Ruby's Grill — Mrs. Ruby Colman — Restaurant 1960 

Ruth's Cafe — Ruth and Loring Vickers — Restaurant 1957 

Francis J. Ryan — Precast Concrete 1954 

Sampsons' Radio and T.V. — Sidney Sampson — Repairs 1958 

Seaborn Beauty Shop — Mrs. Lois Seaborn — Beautician 1941 

Seals-Campbell Funeral Home — C. B. Seals, J. G. Campbell 1925 

Shank and Donahue — Vincent Shank, Vernon Donahue — Men's Wear. . 1960 

Silver Fross Root Beer Stand — L. Haslem and D. Davis 1933 

J. Lindo Silver — General Insurance 1949 

Simmons and Johnson — Hardware Store 1938 

Sineni Barbershop — Mike Sineni — Barber 1923 

Bob Smith's Gulf Service — Robert E. Smith — Gasoline Service 1951 

Speed's Barbershop — James J. Boetto — Barber 1927 

Adeline Spencer, R.N 1949 

Spencer's Insurance — H. C. Spencer and A. G. "Bud" Spencer 1928 

Spicer Gravel Company — E. L. and John H. Spicer 1918 

Standard Foundry Products, Inc. — Metal Castings 1950 

Standard Oil Bulk Plant — Orville Hausken — Fuel Oil 1950 

Standard Service Station — Norman Hausken — Gasoline Service 1959 

Steep's Garage — Clyde Steep 1942 

Stickle's Cigar Store — M. L. Stickle 1930 

Stoltz's Clothing and Shoes — J. M. and R. M. Stoltz 1955 

H. K. Sutton, M.D. — Physician and Surgeon 1957 

Mrs. Irma Tershowski — Beautician 1940 


Thompson Hotel — Andrew Donna 1917 

Tisler's Pontiac Sales — Henry Tisler, Jr. — Garage 1937 

Trad's Clothing — Mike Trad, Sr. — Clothing and Shoes 1922 

Treasure House — Mrs. LaVerne Brewick — Furnishings, Gifts 1943 

Union National Bank — H. D. Andrews, Executive Vice President, 

E. O. Corley, Cashier 1945 

United Service Station — Cloyd E. Robinson — Gasoline Service 1958 

Valley Metal Products Co. — W. R. Guillory — Metal Fabricating 1937 

Texaco Service — William J. Verona — Gasoline Service 1939 

Don A. Vespa, D.D.S. — Dentist 1933 

Viviani Beauty Shop — Sam Viviani — Beautician 1941 

Webb's Tap — Sophia Mathes — Tavern 1956 

Bob Wright Transfer — Bob Wright 1945 

Chuck Wagon — Mr. and Mrs. John Stark — Restaurant 1960